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Artur Zeidler
08-13-2006, 03:25 PM
The great North American leveller. It does not matter what; politcs, war, art, literature, but if it becomes too incomprehensible, reduce it to the level of sports.

Generally not a positive step though

Alex Hawley
08-13-2006, 03:55 PM
Amen (and I don't give a rat's a** if anyone is disturbed by that word) to everything Blansky said.

blansky
08-13-2006, 04:12 PM
The great North American leveller. It does not matter what; politcs, war, art, literature, but if it becomes too incomprehensible, reduce it to the level of sports.

Generally not a positive step though

Ah, someone who doesn't understand sports.


Michael

jovo
08-13-2006, 04:23 PM
I once coached some adult, amateur, fairly decent string players. They would often ask my opinion about some piece or other to which they would refer by opus number, and key. I hadn't a clue which piece they were referring to, but I did learn to mumble something indistinct, but seemingly responsive. It occured to me that, as passionate amateurs, they compensated for what they felt might be inadequate in their playing by knowing that stuff....plus they genuinely cared about it. It was I who usually felt inadequate...I could play up a storm, but never bothered to remember or learn all the information they knew.

Over time, though, I've met a lot of amazing players who also know what Mozart ate for breakfast. To be dismissive of people who use their minds well is also, I think, an all too American habit.

Artur Zeidler
08-13-2006, 04:29 PM
Amen (and I don't give a rat's a** if anyone is disturbed by that word) to everything Blansky said.

I must say I like that in a man. Macho enough to say "Aymen" out loud and yet the need to allude to their curses. How intriguing

Lee Shively
08-13-2006, 04:31 PM
As a non-sports fan and another uneducated lout, I got to agree with blansky but, at the same time, I do enjoy reading the opinions of others on photographers and their photographs.

This particular photo is special to me. The first time I saw it was in a gawdawful reproduction in either Modern Photgraphy or Popular Photography in 1973 (I think). I had never heard of Ansel Adams before and knew little about photography except that I had a new 35mm camera and I liked taking pictures. Obviously this photograph made an impression on me. It opened my eyes to what was possible. It's a pleasant surprise to see it posted here for discussion.

jmailand
08-13-2006, 10:05 PM
The local museum here has had about 50 of his images on display here for the last month. These were the first real AA prints I ever saw. I had to look at each image about 3 separate times. I was probably in there for over 2 hours. Let just say I walk out of there amazed and inspired. He is still the gold standard.

James,

Peter De Smidt
08-13-2006, 10:33 PM
<snip>
I'm occasionally tempted to side with Bazin and Kendall Watson and declare that photographs are entirely transparent and the photographic image is the object itself... but I can never quite bring myself to do it. <snip>

That's a tempting position, especially for artistic photographs. Even though some people read symbolism and representation into all of their artistic analyses, they aren't necessarily better making qualities, i.e. something doesn't necessarily become better because it is sybolic or representative of something else. I enjoy beautiful natural scenes because of what they are; not because of what they stand for, and that's how I look at photographs as well.

bjorke
08-16-2006, 10:08 PM
I'm occasionally tempted to side with Bazin and Kendall Watson and declare that photographs are entirely transparent and the photographic image is the object itself... but I can never quite bring myself to do it.This is, in essence, the "New Fact" position as well, no? And imo is also the basis for work like that of Nikki Lee, where the entire photographic process vanishes leaving only the photographs (which we know do not represent "the truth" -- or do they?).

To gently nudge the topic, it seems to me that confronting this issue is essential to APUGgers, who have been (at least in theory) collected into a group based upon their processes, not (necessarily) their images. An issue to be confronted at least for APUGgers who desire something from their photographic endeavors that's more than, say, a relaxing way to get stinky fingers in their retirement.

Sparky
08-16-2006, 10:27 PM
I don't like this adams' photo. it sucks.

:)

photomc
08-16-2006, 10:30 PM
Well said Michael....hold the minutia, and bring on the corn Flakes :)

Peter De Smidt
08-16-2006, 10:35 PM
That's a tempting position, especially for artistic photographs. Even though some people read symbolism and representation into all of their artistic analyses, they aren't necessarily better making qualities, i.e. something doesn't necessarily become better because it is sybolic or representative of something else. I enjoy beautiful natural scenes because of what they are; not because of what they stand for, and that's how I look at photographs as well.


Oops. I read what Tim wrote too quickly. I'm not going to take a position on idealism versus realism. An idealist would hold that an "object" is nothing more than all of the perceptions of it, or alternately all of the possible perceptions of it, or something like that. My point is that photographs can be enjoyed as original objects in their own right, without reading any symbolism or representation into them. They are things just as much as trees or mountains are. I'm not against others taking another view, just as I'm not against people reading God into images, or other places for that matter. I simply don't want to do so myself.

naturephoto1
08-16-2006, 11:25 PM
I like this image as well as much of Ansel's other works. Ansel has had much influence on many landscape photographers and I am no exception. Personally, I would consider him the single most influential B&W photographer to me and my own landscape work. I may use some of his techniques but apply it to my own personal vision and in color.

Rich

donbga
08-17-2006, 12:01 AM
I like this image as well as much of Ansel's other works. Ansel has had much influence on many landscape photographers and I am no exception. Personally, I would consider him the single most influential B&W photographer to me and my own landscape work. I may use some of his techniques but apply it to my own personal vision and in color.

Rich
So have you looked at any of Ansel's color work?

naturephoto1
08-17-2006, 12:06 AM
So have you looked at any of Ansel's color work?

Yes Don, I have. I have a small book of Adams color images, as I recall from the Mural Project. But, I was taking landscape photos long before seeing much less knowing anything about Adams' color work. So his influence for me was based upon his B&W work. From my understanding, Adams did not print any or little of his color work because at the time, he did not like the color printing processes available. Long after his death, my printer, Bill Nordstrom had the opportunity to print as I recall both a 5" x 7" Adams Kodachrome and an 8" x 10" Weston Kodachrome. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to see Bill's handywork in printing these either off of a Lightjet or Chromira machine.

Rich

donbga
08-17-2006, 01:15 AM
Yes Don, I have. I have a small book of Adams color images, as I recall from the Mural Project. But, I was taking landscape photos long before seeing much less knowing anything about Adams' color work. So his influence for me was based upon his B&W work. From my understanding, Adams did not print any or little of his color work because at the time, he did not like the color printing processes available. Long after his death, my printer, Bill Nordstrom had the opportunity to print as I recall both a 5" x 7" Adams Kodachrome and an 8" x 10" Weston Kodachrome. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to see Bill's handywork in printing these either off of a Lightjet or Chromira machine.

Rich

Well I think it is interesting to read Ansel's thoughts about his color work. Long story short is that he didn't like his work partly because of the limitations of color materials (mostly Ektachrome and Kodachrome transparanecies). He was frustrated with color since his ability to stylize the images were so limited even though he had excellent knowledge about the practice and theory of color photography.

His posthumous book, 'Ansel Adams In Color', is definitely worth a close inspection. Some of the images in the book have the look of some contemporary fine art color photographers. These images show how Ansel minimalised his palette and forms yielding a very un-Anselesque look. Specifically the photos on pages 44, 45, 54, 55, 75, 93 are his best examples of this 'technique'.

It is also interesting to note the names of some of the colaborators involved in producing this book. Harry Callahan picked the images to be used. John Szarkowski as well as many other notables contributed their advice producing and editing this neat little book.

I've seen some of Adam's vintage color prints and they have a much different feeling than much of today's over saturated color printing.

Finally, his SX-70 color work has a unique look all their own IMO, It's amazing to see what he did with this positive color material.

Sparky
08-17-2006, 05:13 AM
I'm occasionally tempted to side with Bazin and Kendall Watson and declare that photographs are entirely transparent and the photographic image is the object itself... but I can never quite bring myself to do it. Though the idea of the photograph as a true icon (essentially what has been expressed in some of these threads) is appealing

Wouldn't the coincidence of subject and object mean they're OPAQUE, and thus purely iconic?

Also - can you redefine what you imply by 'true icon'?

Sparky
08-17-2006, 05:15 AM
I've seen some of Adam's vintage color prints and they have a much different feeling than much of today's over saturated color printing.


You don't think that could simply be a byproduct of process do you? Or maybe the images/plates you were viewing were faded..?

Something similar crossed my mind via the Atget thread - that perhaps much of the appeal was due to the characteristics of the process from that age, and/or being documents of a far-bygone era. I think Sontag would have something to say about that.

donbga
08-17-2006, 06:15 AM
You don't think that could simply be a byproduct of process do you? Or maybe the images/plates you were viewing were faded..?



No that wasn't my impression. They had the look of Harry Callahan's vintage color prints, if you know what I mean.

I can't recall for sure now but the two Adams prints that I saw may have been dye transfers and so perhaps were the Callahan prints.

copake_ham
08-17-2006, 09:56 AM
.....

While his images are icons to many, I wonder though, does Adams hold any relevance to young photographers today?

No time to plow through the whole thread - but thought I'd answer this particular query.

For many years Ansel Adams had a close working relationship with the magazine "Arizona Highways" and produced many images for it.

Anyone today who has seed a copy of this spectacular publication will readily know how Adams continues to inform the art of young landscape photographers today.